Hydrogen Uses, Purposes, and Compounds

Topics: Hydrogen, Oxygen, Chemical element Pages: 3 (1154 words) Published: December 13, 2012
Hydrogen is recognized as the simplest and lightest chemical element in the periodic table; even though it is identified as one of the top elements in abundance in the world (consisting of 0.9 percent of the total mass on earth), it is considered to be the most abundant element in the entire universe. It is a gaseous element with the atomic symbol being H. It is usually categorized under the first group of the periodic table known as the alkali metals. It contains only one electron that revolves around one single energy level and it is the only element that is able to exist without any neutrons in its nucleus. It is diatomic, meaning that its molecules are composed of 2 atoms, yet it is able to break off into free atoms when placed in high temperatures. Hydrogen is tasteless, odorless, and colorless consisting of a melting point of -259.2° C, a boiling point of -252.77° C, and a density of 0.089 g/liters. It is highly flammable element that burns and constructs dangerous and explosive mixtures and reacts destructively with oxidants. Most of the time hydrogen is identified as a nonmetal, however there are occasions in which it becomes a liquid metal. This is caused when immense amount of pressure is added to it such as when it’s found in gas like planets including Jupiter and Saturn. Hydrogen consists of 3 isotopes including hydrogen-1, known as protium, hydrogen-2, deuterium, and hydrogen-3, tritium. The first isotope if the most abundant one, while the third one is the least. Henry Cavendish, an English scientist who developed hydrogen by mixing zinc along with hydrochloric acid, first identified it as a distinct element in1766. However, Antoine Lavoisier, a French scientist, named it in 1783. The name came from the Greek word “hydro”, which means water and “genes” meaning forming since it is one of the two elements that make up a water molecule.

Hydrogen has a variety of purposes but it is widely used for the hydrogenation of vegetable and animal fats and...
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